Verbij out for the season with groin injury

Verbij out for the season with groin injury

Kai Verbij is forced to miss the Dutch Single Distance Championships this weekend. The 28-year-old speed skater of Team Jumbo-Visma, who won gold in the 500 and 1,000-meter races at the national speed skating championships last year, will be out for the remainder of the season with a groin injury.

On Saturday, the multiple world champion suffered from his left groin a few meters after the start of his final test race ahead of the nationals. With a time of 35.20, he still managed to finish sixth in the men's 500-meter race, which was won by Verbij’s teammate Merijn Scheperkamp in 34.89.

On Wednesday, Verbij underwent an MRI, which revealed the severity of the injury. It's an injury to the same groin as a few months ago. Back then, Verbij was forced to withdraw from the World Cup Qualification Tournament at Thialf after just a few meters.

"This is such a shame", Verbij said. "After a rough start to the season, I really wanted to show some great things in the upcoming weeks. I am still able to skate, but that's not enough. In the Netherlands, you must be at your very best to be able to qualify for the most important races, like the World Championship. That's not possible with an injury like this."

"If I wasn't good enough to qualify for the World Championship and the last two World Cups because of my skating skills, I would also have been disappointed, but then I might have been able to accept it in a certain way. But the fact that I don't even get a chance to show the people what I can do this weekend hurts a lot. For the first time in eight years, I won’t be competing in the most important races of the season…"

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